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TextEdit is Apple's text editing application. While it's not a full-blown word processing application like Apple's Pages or Microsoft Word, it has a surprising amount of power for a free text editor. Let's take a look at it. I will launch it from Spotlight, press Return, and here is our TextEdit window. Now TextEdit looks a bit like a word processing application that you might have seen in from the mid 90s. So there is not a ton of stuff in here but there are some useful things.
So I will enter some text, then I can select that text and from the Styles menu choose a new style for that. And the default back here. I can choose another font. Let's say Birch Std. That's nearly unbeatable. I can also type in the first few letters of a font and produce that, so there is Times.
You can choose different styles for your font. put that into Italic, Bold, Bold-Italic. And note these styles are different than what I've pulled here. When I use this Styles menu this is the OS imposing a style on the text. In this case these are actual font variations. So when I choose here, this is a font variation that's built into the Times font. I can change the size of the text.
Here is a really big text. I can make it quite small. I can change the color of the text. So here is kind of this orangey text. Green. And back to black. You can also change the background color if you like. So if you want to have a bright yellow document with bright green text you're certainly welcome to. I don't advise it ever but it's something you can do if you choose to.
And then here are some shortcuts for Bold, Italic, and Underline. You can also align your text. So here is left aligned, center, right aligned, and this is justified. What justified text does is it evens up the alignment on both sides of the text wherever possible. You can change your line spacing. So select this. Let's make it 1.4 and now you see that you have got a little more space between your lines.
You can also tighten it up if you want. If you want you can make bullet lists and here's the list. And you can choose different preceding characters if you like. By default TextEdit produces documents in rich text and that means you can use this kind of formatting. If you don't want to you can use plain text. So we go to Format > Make Plain Text, click OK, and you see now you have no formatting options at all, you just get this really generic dull-looking text.
There are some cases when you may want to use that. Certain programming languages. For example if you are coding they want plain text; they don't want any kind of styled text. So if you have that need choose to use plain text instead. Now I am going to see if I can make TextEdit correct me. Notice when I misspell a word it will pop-up a suggestion. In this case, I misspelled color.
It suggests c-o-l-o-r. If I want to accept that I just press Return and it offers the correct spelling. I can undo that if I want to, so I have gone back a space. It says well, did you really mean to say collor? And if so it will accept that. You click that and it allows the original text to stay where it was. Now you can turn off this AutoCorrect option if you want. You just go into the Language & Text system preference and into Text and there you see the option to turn it off.
So we looked at this previously but we will look just one more time. Language & Text > Text and you turn that option off and it will no longer AutoCorrect. Now note that you have to quite TextEdit and then restart before this setting will take. You can also create lists and tables. So we will go to the Format menu. Choose List. We will create a list that has little checkmarks before each item, click OK, and so on.
Delete all that. And you would also make tables. Format > Table. You decide how many rows and columns you want, so we are going to make 4 rows, 5 columns. We can choose the alignment if we choose to. Where the text is going to go, whether on the left side or go in the right side, justified middle, and you can also create a cell border if you like and decide on the color.
You can even embed hyperlinks that work in documents. So we choose Edit > Add Link and then we will have it go to... Click OK and this now is a live link so when I click on it Safari launches, or your default browser, whichever one you use, and it will take you to that linked site. Delete this.
You can also embed images into your documents and to do that we will go to File > Attach Files. Click Open. You can't see it because this image is really big but the image is indeed embedded in the TextEdit file. When I talk about speech I also mentioned the TextEdit can speak documents to you. Just highlight the text, Edit > Speech > Start Speaking.
(Computer: This is some speech for TextEdit. Let's see how it sounds.) So what this has done is it's using the default Alex voice to read the highlighted text. Again, look at the movie about speech and you will see that you can change these voices to another voice that you prefer. Now is as good a time as any to talk about Lion's services. These are features that are activated based on the application you are using and the context of selected items. Using services you can often interact with other applications in your Mac.
So we have some selected text here. I will go to TextEdit. We will look at the Services menu and you see from within TextEdit there are certain things that we can do with this text. I can for example make a new Sticky Note. Here come Stickies. So it's taken that highlighted text and its putted into a Sticky Note and we are going to look at Stickies in another movie. Other options from Services, you can also make a new e-mail with this selection or a new note with this selection. We will also talk about Services when we are talking about Automator but keep Services in mind because you will find some hidden capabilities and some of your favorite programs using Services.
And that's largely everything you need to know about TextEdit, Apple's not so basic text editor.
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